Cleah Slack – Student Highlight

Cleah Slack graduated from Lincoln County High School in 2019. During her senior year, an admissions advisor visited her class to discuss the specialized associate degree programs at WVJC. After the presentation, Cleah knew she wanted to apply for college at WVJC. She was looking for a short-term program that would help prepare her for a career. Cleah said, “It was important to me to be able to get a great education and earn an Associate Degree in Dental Assisting in a short 18 months.”

When asked about her long term goals, she said she would like to further her education and become a dental hygienist. She said, “I have always been very detail-oriented and really wanted to make sure the dental field was the right path for me and that is why I decided dental assisting was the best first step.” Cleah loves her dental assisting classes because of the hands-on activities and Mrs. Rollins style of teaching. Cleah noted, “Mrs. Rollins is such a great teacher. She makes sure everyone in class understands the material. Our dental classes are small and very hands-on, so everyone gets a feel for what we are doing.” Cleah has enjoyed her time at West Virginia Junior College because of the caring atmosphere and fast-track program. She said, “I love the wonderful instructors and I’ve also made lifelong friends.”

Cleah is flying through her Dental Assisting program at WVJC! She is an excellent student with nearly perfect attendance and a President’s List recipient. In addition to her excellent academic achievement, Cleah also volunteers as a Student Ambassador for the dental assisting program. She assists with new student orientation, school events, and offers tutoring services for students. We cannot wait to see all that Cleah accomplishes after graduating from WVJC! If you would like to know more about the fast track dental program or other programs at WVJC, please visit wvjc.edu for more information and apply today!

Marrissa Merill – Student Highlight

Marrissa Merill is attending West Virginia Junior College Bridgeport where she will soon obtain her associate degree in Dental Assisting. In December, Marrissa will be sitting for the National Registered Dental Assisting certification exam. She is anxiously awaiting her test date. However, she feels confident that her education has prepared her for success. Marrissa began her career at WVJC shortly after graduating from Lincoln High School. She spent several years being a waitress and realized she wanted a career instead.

Marrissa has always had a passion for the dental field but wasn’t sold on the idea “completely”, until entering the Dental Terminology course at WVJC.  At this point, she realized how passionate she was about teeth and the importance of oral hygiene. The Dental Terminology class was her favorite for many reasons. It helped her realize she was in the right field and she enjoyed learning all the proper terms and the order of teeth.

During her time at WVJC, Marrissa has had many great instructors, but two in particular have inspired her the most, Mr. Cutright and Mrs. Holyfield. “These two instructors are passionate about teaching and making sure their students succeed. They inspired me to strive for greatness.” During her education, Marrissa is required to complete 160 hours of externship. She has already completed 60 hours at Mountaineer Orthodontics. During this time she has gained the hands-on experience that is needed to further her education and career. “I have learned so much and love being a part of their team.”  Marrissa is looking forward to completing the remaining 100 hours in General Dentistry.

Marrissa has already been offered a full-time Dental Assisting position upon graduation in December.  She is excited to graduate and begin her career in a reputable dental facility. We enjoyed having Marrissa at our Bridgeport campus and are confident she will achieve greatness in her career.  She offers a quote to anyone that is undecided about their future, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing” (Walt Disney).

Kristina Conaway – Student Highlight

Kristina Conaway is new to the West Virginia Junior College family.  She began her journey here in April 2019 and is very passionate about her dental assisting program.  Kristina attended a university prior to making the choice to enroll at WVJC, but the experience wasn’t what she was looking for and she began to feel that she was taking too many classes not geared toward her major. She felt uncomfortable in the class scheduling process and was ready to make a change.

Kristina chose WVJC because of the “smaller facility and class sizes, because I feel as though I do my best work in those conditions.  Also, I was excited to be offered classes that focused only on what I needed for my future career, especially the more hands-on classes.”  Growing up, Kristina was always fascinated with teeth and her visits to the dentist, so she knew she wanted to pursue a career in the dental field.  She is proud to have so many members of her family that encouraged her “to go for it.”

Kristina’s favorite part about attending WVJC Bridgeport is “getting the opportunity to work with actual dental equipment before entering a professional job, and the tremendous amount of effort and assistance all the staff in the building puts forth in helping make your time here as  uncomplicated and least stressful as possible.”  Her favorite class is Student Success Strategies.  She says, “there is no better class to start out with your first 6 weeks. This class gives you the guidance and advice you need to be successful in school and just life in general.”

When Kristina completes her education in the Dental Assisting program she hopes to quickly begin her career.  Her goal is to work at All Smiles Dental in Bridgeport, WV.  However, she is open to other opportunities and cannot wait to put all her effort and education to good use.  When asked if she would recommend somebody to WVJC, she said, “Yes! Everyone here is very friendly and so far nothing has been stressful!  They make getting into the classes you need easy. Classes are smaller and more personal so you don’t miss out on any assistance you may need, and the staff is very supportive and helpful in any way they possibly can be! I couldn’t have made a better choice than coming to WVJC.”

Dental Assisting Graduate Highlight – Jesse Rose

Jesse RoseFor some students starting college can be daunting, especially because it is unfamiliar territory. However, West Virginia Junior College Charleston is not just any college. The staff and faculty support students from the initial admissions meeting to graduation and beyond. Certified Dental Assistant, Jesse Rose, knows this first hand.

Jesse was not nervous about starting college because he had always been interested in the dental field.

He says one of his favorite parts of college was getting to meet so many people and making friends. Not only were his classmates encouraging and supportive but Jesse says he always felt supported by the WVJC employees.

“The faculty was nice and encouraging. I have to thank Ms. Hale [the Dental Program Coordinator]. She was always encouraging and so supportive,” said Rose.

Throughout his time in the Dental Assisting program, Jesse excelled. Jesse maintained a high GPA and graduated in September 2014. Today he works as a Certified Dental Assistant for Wilson Martino Dental.

Jesse advises future and current dental students to push themselves and follow their goals.

“Do what you love and love what you do. Aim high and shoot for the stars because you just never know what you just might achieve,” encourages Rose.

If you are interested in learning more about the Dental Assisting Program at West Virginia Junior College call 304.345.2820 today!